Lexie Parks and her journey from injury to success


Lexie Parks passes a ball during a match. Photo by Corinne Thomas

by Matthew Marquez, Staff Reporter

Lexie Parks, a junior right-side hitter for Simpson volleyball has gone from sitting out her sophomore season due to a shoulder injury to being named the A-R-C player of the week. 

“When I first came back in the fall, I just started talking with KK [Coach Palea], I had a meeting with him about how I was worried that I wasn’t going to be like the player I was before. And he basically told me you can’t be the player that you were before, you have to approach everything differently now” said Parks. 

Becoming a different player was exactly what Parks did; this year, she is second on the team in kills with 52, has five career starts this season and has a total of 56.5 points this year. 

Parks has helped lead a much-improved team this year with her accomplishments on the court. 

“Thanks to sitting out for an entire season and watching everything that was going on I have a pretty high volleyball IQ. So I know what’s going on on the court and I’m able to read things and talk to my teammates about what I see,” said Parks. 

Parks says that her success so far has not been solely on her own, her teammates and coaches have become her biggest motivators since coming back. 

“Definitely my teammates, like without them, I can’t do what I do without a pass without a set, I can’t get a hit,” said Parks. “We have new coaches here. And they’ve really stepped up and been able to like, not nitpick, but tell us exactly what we need to do to achieve what we want, which is winning.” 

Going back to basics has been the main focus for not only Parks this come-back season, but for head coach Kekailoa Palea as well. 

“If we want more, we have to be more,” Palea said. 

Winning is what every athlete and every team desires. For Parks and the Storm, writing out what winning means to them has become a method of motivation. 

“We all read them before every game, trying to read them before every practice… we now hold ourselves to the standard of like, what winning and what being a winner means to us and that doesn’t just mean winning a game, it means, trusting your teammates, being there for your teammates, and putting everything out there for your teammates,” said Parks. 

Parks puts a major emphasis on her teammates because they have contributed to her success–specifically her senior teammates.

“I think that they showed me what it means to work hard on the court… the seniors, especially this season, with it being a COVID season, I want to play for them,” said Parks.  

Whenever Parks faces adversity in a game, instead of holding onto her mistakes, she writes two words on her wrist that have helped her forget and refocus. 

“Next Fall.” 

It is a trigger for Parks to forget about the previous play and to get ready for the next serve. 

“If I have a terrible play and it’s the last point, I’m just like, okay, that didn’t happen. It’s over and done with can’t do anything about it,” said Parks. 

With the COVID-19 season coming to an end, Parks is looking forward to continuing the positive momentum into the last two games of the season. 

“We[the team] have a lot of motivation and excitement after our last game and going down two sets to none and then coming back and having a reverse sweep. I think we know what we can do [and] we know what we have to do to win,” said Parks. 

The end of a season means an end to a chapter of life for the senior members of the team and Parks of all people understands that the most.  

“There is a little bit of a different mindset because it’s our senior’s last games and I know we’ve talked about at this point if you’re not playing for yourself, play for your seniors because this is all that they have left,” Parks said. 

The Storm volleyball team will face off Buena Vista on Wednesday, March 17, and Wartburg on Saturday, March 20.